NASHVILLE -- A well-executed, disciplined effort by Greencastle in girls' sectional semi-final play Friday night went for nought, as the Tiger Cubs fell to host Brown County, 54-48.
The first quarter of play saw four lead changes and gave a hint that the ballgame would be physical. Play in the post was aggressive, and seemed to be, for the most part, unchecked by the three-man officiating crew from Bloomington. Much of the scoring in the opening eight minutes, however, came from outside the paint and the Cubs emerged with a slim 12-11 advantage.
In the second period, Greencastle's Hannah Spencer added to the eight points she scored in the opening frame by hitting two more buckets early. Brown County's physical dominance inside began to assert itself, however, as 6-foot-1-inch senior Molly Fox collected seven of her team-high 20 points to help the Eagles take a 25-22 lead at the break.
The Tiger Cubs' inability to match up against Fox became even more evident in the third quarter. Brown County began to wear Greencastle down and collected numerous offensive boards. On the night, the Eagles had 11 offensive rebounds and were able to convert them into 18 points. Spencer almost single-handedly kept the Cubs close by notching seven more of her game-high 24 points. As the contest entered the final quarter, Brown County extended their lead to five, 38-33.
The Eagles upped their lead to ten, 47-37, at the 4:37 mark, but the Cubs went on a 9-2 run, highlighted by Spencer's clutch three with 33 seconds remaining, bringing Greencastle within striking distance, 49-46.
The Tiger Cubs' Olivia Miller was inexplicably whistled for an intentional foul as she tried to get the ball away from Brown County's Kami Graber on the inbounds play, much to the chagrin of Greencastle Head Coach Glenn Hile. "If this was the NBA, I'd be fined right now, but I don't care, That was a bad call. That one really hurt us," Hile remarked after the conclusion of play.
The Eagles were able to convert on the two-possession opportunity, and were able to essentially run out the clock and end the Tiger Cubs season.
Hile was philosophical about his team's performance: "This was a good effort by our seniors. They suffered through two tough seasons before this year. They led the team and I'm gonna miss 'em."
Greencastle ends the campaign at 12-10.
At Brown County
Greencastle 12 10 11 15 -- 48
Brown County11 14 13 16 -- 54